It’s been a while since I last posted here in this blog. Last time I posted was on Jungsoo’s 35th birthday. The post was really long and a bit tiring to read, but I hope the people who read that message are also reading this post.
I’ll start this post by throwing back to the journey of the group.
November 6, 2005. A 12-member group released a track called Twins (Knock-Out). South Koreans were really curious about the first group who had a huge number of members. It raised some eyebrows and it definitely made both netizens and music critics watch out for this huge male group who would pass as either a choir or a dance troupe.
It was also noted that this 12-member group was an experimental group that was patterned by a Japanese Pop female group Morning Musume. Both groups were meant to have different members each year, based on a process called member-rotation. Thus, the Korean male group was named Super Junior ’05.
Super Junior ’05 consisted of Leeteuk and Heechul (83-liners), Han Geng and Yesung (84-liners), Kangin and Shindong (85-liners), Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae and Siwon (86-liners), and Kibum and Ryeowook (87-liners). After Twins (Knock-Out), the group released another track called Miracle, which was a make-or-break for the group. This was only revealed to Leeteuk, the leader until sometime which might have had slipped from him and from other employees in SM. Everyone did a great job to film the MV despite the weather and other concerns. This song however did not become a mutizen song in South Korea, but it topped a chart in three consecutive weeks. Although it didn’t win 1st in any music shows, it was more of a hit than Twins in the international market, topping a chart in Thailand.
This song kept the group together from February to April 2006.
Little did they know, their fate would be sealed by the additional of the last member.
During the promotions of Miracle, SM Entertainment halted the recruitment of new members for Super Junior ’05, and made a decision to add another member, Kyuhyun (88-liner), to be part of Super Junior, then a permanent group.
Kyuhyun’s addition to the group was disapproved by majority of the fans and even majority of the members. This didn’t stop him from debuting with the group. He debuted in May 23, 2006 but performed only days after with the group with another single U. The song became the groups’ first successful song, winning 1st in music shows. The song also exceeded 1.7 Million Downloads and the physical single sold out around 80,000 units. Super Junior won the Best Newcomers Awards in Golden Disk Awards.
In August 2006, while travelling back to Seoul from Mokpo where he attended Donghae’s father’s funeral, Heechul was caught in a car accident, resulted in 8-hour surgery for his leg. This made him rest from the group activities for twelve weeks until he was discharged. He resumed in his individual activities after.
Other members’ individual career in acting, modeling and hosting came after as well.
The group also pioneered debuting sub-units in Korean groups. Super Junior KRY, consisted of the three main vocalists, Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and Yesung, debuted a day before the first anniversary, performing an official sound track entitled The One I Love.
Super Junior T or Trot debuted also in February 2007, releasing a very popular trot song Rokkugo which was also performed days after. This subgroup consisted of Leeteuk, Heechul, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin and Eunhyuk.
Despite several achievements in their first year, the group encountered another very unfortunate event that almost took the life of the youngest member and other members.
On April 2007, after a radio show, Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Kyuhyun and their manager had a fatal vehicular accident, causing them to be hospitalized. Kyuhyun had surgeries which also affected his vocal chords that if wasn’t successful would have make him permanently quit singing.
While Kyuhyun were recuperating from his injuries, the group released a single, a remake of H.O.T.’s Happiness, which served as the comeback of the three other injured members. They also released a movie Attack on the Pin-Up Boys, which was the first movie produced and played by the a Korean Group. However, this did not become a hit in cinemas. Instead, the movie earned through DVDs released and movie sound track Wonder Boy became popular as well.
Due to successful surgeries and prayers, Kyuhyun went back to participate in Don’t Don, Super Junior 2nd Album that was supposed to be released in late 2006. The album was pushed forward a year after in September 2007.
The album received various reviews, but sold at least 160,000 copies. The group was nominated as Artist of the Year and won a Disk Bonsang for the album.
Super Junior debuted another subgroup, Super Junior M or Mandarin, which easily became the most successful subunit. The group was formed by then Super Junior members Han Geng, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun, and additional members Zhou Mi and Henry. They released their first mini-album Me, which paved the way to Chinese music market.
Despite SM Entertainment announcing that both Zhou Mi and Henry would not be added to the main group, fans still protested against the two SJ-M members, which lead to Only 13 protest. It was initially lead to Only13 Fans chanting to oust Henry during his solo violin performance in Don’t Don.
Only13 issue remained throughout as Super Junior T debuted in Japan, and another subgroup was formed, Super Junior H or Happy, consisting of Leeteuk, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin and Eunhyuk. The subgroup released an extended play of Cooking? Cooking! and performed in several live shows.
Super Junior also had another milestone when they had their first solo concert in Asia, Super Show 1 where they performed in South Korea, China and Thailand.
Super Junior’s career highlight came when they released the phenomenal Sorry Sorry in March 2009, which led to international fame not only in East Asia but other parts of Asia and Western countries. This album sold around 250,000 in Korea and became no. 1 album when released in various Asian countries. This led to winning the Grand Prize or Disk Daesang in Golden Disk Awards in 2009.
They also started their 2nd solo concert, Super Show 2, which they did not only perform in East Asia but also in South East Asia. Kibum did not perform in the concert however, he participated in promotional videos for the tour. He announced that he’d continue his acting career. His last participation was in It’s You, the title track of the repackaged album for Sorry Sorry.
Super Junior M also released another mini album, Super Girl, which became popular in several countries.
The group also performed for the first time in Japan without their official Japanese debut.
Several incidents challenged the group as Kangin was charged with driving under influence, resulting in temporary halt in all his activities and his participation with the group was questioned. After this incident, in December 2009, Han Geng filed a contract termination with SM Entertainment due to unlawful contract and mistreatment. Heechul did not participate in any group activities in three months due to his depression over Han Geng’s case.
Due to his issue, Kangin also enlisted to the mandatory military service, leaving the group with only ten members to participate in the next album, Bonamana. Heechul was able to participate in this album. With their increasing popularity, the fourth album outsold Sorry Sorry in Korea, selling over 300,000 copies and breaking chart records in Taiwan and other countries despite of mixed reviews in Korea.
The group continued to pursue their individual activities during the promotion until the third concert was announced. Super Show 3 sold out all seats in different countries. They also released a 3D movie for the concert, which eventually became one of the highest-grossing 3D movies in the country.
Super Junior also released a Japanese-version of the Bonamana in 2011.
The group also performed with other SM artists in America and in Europe. The media tagged them as Korean Pop Culture Icon, which gave birth to the word KPOP. They were also featured in CNN for their international success. Other countries also recognized Super Junior to be the leaders of the Hallyu Wave.
After the tour and several appearances worldwide, they released their 5th album, Mr. Simple, which sold more than 400,000 in Korea. They peaked at no. 3 in Billboard World Music Chart, in which the group was the first to chart. The track received positive response both locally and internationally, and won several no. 1 awards.
Heechul entered the military last September 2011 after the last week of promotion of Mr. Simple. They began their 4th solo concert tour, Super Show 4 without Heechul in several countries including France. They gathered 900,000 audience accumulated for all their tours.
With Mr. Simple, they won several awards, including the prestigious Album of Year award in Golden Disk Awards. They also won in Seoul Music Awards and Gaon Awards and other award shows.
In 2012, they released another album, the 6th album Sexy Free and Single before Leeteuk’s military service. The song ranked in iTunes Chart and Billboard World Album. Aside from this, they won the Hanteo award, selling more than 400,000 copies. After the controversy of SM with Mnet Asian Music Awards, the group first performed in the awards show and bagged the Album of the Year. Also, they bagged the Disk Daesang in Golden Disk Awards, making the group win 3 times, the biggest streak in the GDA history.
They also started their 5th solo concert tour, Super Show 5, which included Heechul who was just released in the military.
They did not only guest in music shows but also in Oxford to give a lecture.
The group’s promotion was brought into temporary halt when Leeteuk and Yesung enlisted for the military. The members concentrated in individual schedules and subgroups. Super Junior M released song Perfection and Break Down during the group hiatus. After Han Geng left the group, the subgroup included Eunhyuk and Sungmin to perform. The subgroup performed for the first time in Korean shows despite of the group’s primary language. Subgroup members Henry and Zhou Mi had their solo debuts as well.
Tragedy again happened as Leeteuk’s father and grandparents passed away while he was in the military service. The leader was given a break due to the incident.
Yesung also prepared to enter the military.
The group was back with another album, the 7th album entitled Mamacita, which became no. 1 in Billboard World Album chart. The song won several times in music shows. This was Super Junior’s first comeback album after 2 years hiatus and after Leeteuk and Heechul’s release from the military.
The group also announced Super Show 6 and had their 100th concert in Seoul. They easily became the first KPOP group that had 100 concerts worldwide and held concerts in several countries in South America.
Super Junior fans were shaken again with the news of Sungmin dating a musical actress, and after a few months, they announced that they were tying a not. Several fans protested and wanted Sungmin out of the group due to different reasons. However, it didn’t stop the group to continue its performances and concert with Sungmin. The group launched This Is Love – a special album.
Kyuhyun’s solo debut was also announced. At Gwanghwamun was released in November 2014 and immediately became a hit digitally, charting in several charts even months after its release. Kyuhyun won 1st in several music shows with the album.
A month after, Sungmin got married and received a lot of bashes from the fans. His marriage created a divide among ELF, either supporting his marriage or wanting him out of the group. Despite this, Sungmin continued to perform with the group until he was enlisted after Shindong.
Super Junior released another special album, Devil, for their 10th anniversary in 2015 before the 86-liners enlistment. Though received good feedback, the song didn’t win any award in Korea, but garnered recognition once again worldwide, peaking at no. 1 in 10 countries for iTunes, and became first in United World Charts.
Super Junior had their Super Show 6 Encore in Seoul for two days where they performed their songs in Devil album. Also, during these months, Kibum announced his departure from the group and SM Entertainment.
The group went into complete hiatus again as Eunhyuk, Donghae and Siwon went to their military service after releasing Magic, a repackaged track for Devil.
Solo albums from Super Junior KRY, who also had tours in Japan and in Korea, were released within 2 years of hiatus. It was not only it. SM Entertainment introduced Label SJ, which granted the group to an exclusive management.
After 2 years of hiatus, the group announced their comeback or the 7th album named Play, the first group comeback handled by Label SJ. However, it was debated again, after 2 years, if Sungmin and Kangin would be included in the comeback. After much deliberation and protests from some K-ELF, Sungmin decided not to participate in the comeback, and Kangin was also tagged as inactive.
Despite this, Super Junior kept on providing their fans all the best. During the promotional period for Play, they had V-Live daily episodes and participated in most variety. They also pre-released One More Chance MV which was composed by Donghae. The video was well-loved, garnering 6.5M views in less than 6 days and around 600,000 likes.
The group’s comeback was challenged again when Siwon was put in a controversy about his dog biting someone, resulting in a complication that caused his death. With this, it was decided that Siwon would not participate in the promotion in TV shows.
Today, in Super Junior’s 12th anniversary, they will release the much anticipated Play album, where they will release the whole album digitally and the Music Video at 6PM KST.
Now that we are done throwing back, let me give my message to them.
Super Junior, as we throwback, I hope we can see that we have been here through ups and downs, and this just made us last longer and became stronger. And we are really thankful for your existence in our lives. Most of us grew up with you, some left, and some went back, but the most important thing is that despite this, at one point, there will always be a Super Junior in their hearts and they’ll keep coming back. There is no guarantee that they will stay, but we are definitely sure that most of us will still be here regardless.
You will always be my no. 1. I may look at others, but in my heart, you will always be holding a huge place. Thank you, sorry and I love you all.